Another battle of ranked light heavyweights is on the horizon at Bellator 259.
After returning with a bang last weekend, Bellator MMA returns this Friday, kicking off their light heavyweight grand prix. Not content with just launching the tournament, the division will stay active, with more 205lb action to come. To that end, sources have confirmed to Cageside Press that Tyree Fortune vs. Grant Neal is set to take part on the preliminary card at Bellator 259 on May 21.
Tyree Fortune, brother of Bellator Heavyweight Tyrell Fortune, is currently ranked #8 in the Light Heavyweight Division. Fortune sits at 5-0, his last win via split decision in 2019 over Chuck Campbell (2-1). Fortune was set to face Neal late in 2020, but the fight was cancelled.
Grant Neal is also 5-0, and sits at #6 in the rankings currently. Neal last fought at Bellator 254, winning via rear naked choke against Maurice Jackson (7-3). Neal has finished 3 of his 5 professional victories, while Fortune has finished 2 of his 5. A win for either man should move them higher up the newly created official rankings — and move them closer to title contention.
Bellator 259 is set to be headlined by women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg, defending her title against Leslie Smith in a rematch of their 2016 meeting. With the addition of Fortune vs. Neal, the Bellator 259 card breaks down as follows:
Cris Cyborg (c) vs. Leslie Smith
Brett Johns vs. Matheus Mattos
Brent Primus vs. Alexander Shabliy
Austin Vanderford vs. Fabian Edwards
Christian Edwards vs. Ben Parrish
Adam Piccolotti vs. Georgi Karakhanyan
Saad Awad vs. Nate Andrews
Tyree Fortune vs. Grant Neal